The Collective Denial of Evil and its Impact on Psychiatric Treatment – Sheri Heller

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Today’s discussion with Sheri Heller is based on an article she submitted to my blog called – The Collective Denial of Evil and its Impact on Psychiatric Treatment to read the blog go to… A therapist advises a woman who’s been stalked and harassed by her psychopathic ex-husband to meet him over coffee to address co-parenting. A young woman with severe somatization of trauma is told by her therapist that her psychopathic brother was engaging in sexual ‘play’ when he was raping her vaginally with objects as children. An abused young man avoids necessary treatment because his perpetrator, his father, is an iconic philanthropist. He legitimately fears being scrutinized by clinicians who question his sanity. Why is the burden of proof on the victim to establish a legitimate case for his or her suffering? Why aren’t these victims believed and why are facilitators of an empirical science denying the psychological reality of evil? Evil denotes an absence of good. It is that which is depraved and immoral. Theodicy, coined by philosopher Gottfried Leibinz, is a theological construct which attempts to answer the question of why a good God permits the manifestation of evil. Questions arise in theodicy as to levels of will, why evil exists and whether there is a demonic force responsible for radical evil. All of these questions address the chaotic universal force of evil, but for the purposes of this article we will address the conundrum of human evil, specifically the evil we inflict upon one another, and the collective denial of its very existence, which in turn allows for evil’s proliferation.


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